Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Danger of the Sporting Mindset

I was surfing a friend's forum and they were talking about a DVD by a noted self protection instructor on the subject of defeating an MMA trained adversary. He points out in the DVD that with the popularity of MMA training it's becoming more and more likely that you'll end up scrapping with someone who's had such training.

Of course the MMA forums are denigrating the DVD saying that the only way an MMA fighter can be beaten is (and I quote)

a "seasoned" (read truly skilled ) MMA practitioner can only be countered by 1. Luck; 2. Equal or greater skill; or 3. A massive size/strength/injury disparity.

This is an absolutely perfect example of the danger of training in a sporting discipline. Notice the angle they come at it with i.e. from an entirely sporting context.

From my perspective, that of someone dealing with the real world and not the ring I'd be thinking of things such as...

A martial artist should be concerned about...1. A guy with a gun; 2. A guy with a knife; 3. A group of guys; 4. A group of guys with weapons; 5. A sucker punch; 6. A pre-emptive strike; 7. An ambush; 8. A mob kicking the crap out of me while I'm rolling round on the ground with someone trying to put them in a cool triangle choke etc.

At first blush this might seem like a criticism of MMA guys and it's not. I admire anyone who trains hard and puts it on the line, no matter what discipline that is. It is however a criticism of the dangers of a sporting mindset and it is also a criticism of guys who play in the ring thinking they are automatically now qualified to talk about self defense.

That's a little like paint-ballers telling Special Forces guys how to conduct themselves in a firefight.

Self defense/protection training requires a certain mind-set, don't confuse it with the mindset you'll develop in a club that concentrates on sport.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

How To Be Your Own Body Guard

My friends at Y2 Yoga in Charlotte (at Cotswald Shopping Center next to Charley's) and I are putting on a presentation on Sunday Dec 6th at 5 pm entitled "How To Be Your Own Body Guard."

I've mentioned the process bad guys go through when committing a crime on my blog before i.e. S.I.V.A. which stands for Selection, Isolation, Verbal and then Attack. Most martial arts systems begin with the fight, or the attack which means they're ignoring fully 75% of the self protection problem.

How to be Your Own Body Guard addresses that and focuses on the avoidance and awareness strategies of a body guard modified for civilian purposes and covers how to avoid being selected in the first place, tips and tricks for when you're on your own, and verbal skills for talking your way out of trouble.

If you're in town that day do yourself a favour and come check it out. Crime always spikes round the holidays and you can't beat the price.

Space is limited and a lot of people are already coming so check first if there's still room and then come along. Bring your friends, wife, mum, sister, spouse might just save their life or prevent them becoming another statistic.'s at Y2 Yoga in Cotswald Mall next to Charley's restaurant on Sunday December 6 at 5 pm or 17:00 hours.

See you there.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ignorance is Bliss

Approximately a week ago a young woman was assaulted uptown by a sexual predator. Of course, if the information in the media is to be believed, she was on her own walking back to her car when the attack happened and she was under the influence of alcohol.

Obviously that's fairly tragic but what bugged me almost as much was the - dare I say it - stupid responses by other young girls they interviewed about the attack.

The first one claimed she and her girlfriend are going to buy and carry mace. Now we've talked about this before...mace is pretty much useless. I don't want to rely on something that I have to lick my finger and determine the wind direction before I can use it, something that I might spray myself with under stress (hey, plenty of rookie cops do just that the first time) and, that even if I use correctly, may not work.

The second one said she's buying a taser. Yep, that's definitely a step up from the mace product but there's still a HUGE problem and that is that all weapons, no matter what form they may take, have to be in your hand when you're attacked to be viable.

Criminals aren't as stupid as some seem to think they are. They know people carry weapons and so they launch their attacks accordingly i.e. they talk their way in and ambush you, or they hide and then ambush you. Either way, unless your weapon is in your hand, primed for use (and that's assuming you're sober right!!) it's about as much use as a snooze button on a smoke alarm.

Sorry, but I just can't see the women I've seen stumbling out of clubs at 2am having the presence of mind to access their weapon for the walk to the car or having the wherewithal to use it given their state of inebriation.

You're pinning your hope of survival on a tool instead of pinning it on yourself...and that's a recipe for disaster.

The third lass in the story was the worst yet. She claimed she was going to get security to escort her to her car and actually had the gall to say "I know they're needed elsewhere but I'm going to have them walk me there anyway."

She's assuming that the rent-a-cops are capable, that they're going to be allowed to leave their posts to provide our prima donna with her own personal escort and that there's enough of them to go around to escort every woman who wants their own body guard back to their car. Not gonna happen.

Here's a better solution...learn to defend yourself, travel in packs, and stay lucid enough to be aware of your surroundings.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Toughen Up

A few weeks ago I was hanging out on the door of a local club with one of my former students who was bouncing there.

We were outside chatting when one of the patrons left with a buddy and, no sooner had he made it to the corner, he was in a screaming match with two other guys.

There was a fair bit of yelling and then the patron came back to ask our opinion as to whether he was justified in fighting these guys because one of them accused him of being on steroids. The accuser was there also trying to apologize and both mates were trying to calm their respective friends down as well. Usual Saturday night on the door I

The accused steroid user wasn't having any of it...he wanted a fight by crikey...his honor had been sullied...someone had - gasp - accused our intrepid hero of using the juice. (never mind that it looked like he probably was). There he was with his jaw stuck out (stupid idea) raging against his mate, trying his darnedest to get to the other guy so they could fight. All the while the accuser just kept apologizing and trying to shake hands.

The irate patron meantime kept asking us for justification. Finally I got around to answering him. "'re on 3 cameras and there's cops everywhere...give it a swerve. Go home. Don't worry about it."

Nope...he wanted a fight so I asked him "got a question for you skippy...if you fight this guy and his head hits the bricks and he dies, will it all have been worth it? Will you be sitting in a cell thinking it was all worth it?"

I doubted it but he didn't get the message and still wanted to fight at which point the accuser, his mate and steroid boy's mate had all but had enough and got around to leaving.

Here's the deal...I've been guilty in the past of fighting over some perceived slur to defend my honor etc. but I've learned over the years it probably wasn't worth it for a great many of them.

Develop a thicker skin for god's sake...if you don't care what someone thinks about politics, religion or a particular TV show why should you care what they think of you?

If you can do this it will go along way to keeping you out of unnecessary fights...and avoidance is a HUGE part of self protection.